“M” Is For Mission

By: D. A. Slinkard

For our series on the “ABCs of Slinkard on Success,” we have come to the letter “M” and the word is Mission. What is your mission in life? Can you clearly define what you want to do? Do you know how you want to go about achieving your life results? Have you even thought about it? When I use the word “mission” I am referring to what some would consider a mission statement, and to give an example of this, I looked up Coca Cola’s mission statement and found, “To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference.”

I truly believe it is vitally important for every individual to create their own mission statement when it comes to how they are going to live their life. A personal mission statement is a little bit different from a company mission statement, but the fundamentals are relatively the same for both. I believe we would be hard pressed to find anyone who has taken the time to think about and then write out their personal mission statement. I believe this is because too many people do not want to work for their success, and they want to achieve success through the easy way, but there is no such thing as the easy way.

Too often we look at the finished product and think to ourselves, “That person sure was lucky,” even though we never take the time to think about the hard work and extra hours these individuals put into practice to be successful. Thomas Jefferson once stated, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” And it seems to me that luck always appears to be against the man who depends upon it. It seems we use the excuse of someone being lucky when we cannot explain the success of those we do not like.

The success in your life – has it been planned or has it been accidental success? I believe there are many people who have some success simply because of chance. These are the people who do not put in the necessary work to achieve success. I do believe that flukes do occasionally happen for people, and it reminds me of the old quote, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.”

How does a person write their personal mission statement? It comes down to getting some matters settled such as identifying your core values, identifying your goals, and then taking the time to think about how you want to impact the world around you. This takes a little bit of work, and I believe it is a contributing factor for why many people do not have a personal mission statement. It is much like the onion, in which it requires peeling back the layers and digging deeper to understand more about ourselves.

Take the time now to identify your core values that guide and direct your life. What values are most important to you now, and what values do you think will be important to you down the road? Over the years, my values have changed, but I can tell you I can at least identify what I believe in. What about you? Have you gotten your values settled or are you tossed to and fro with the blowing of the wind?

The next aspect is to identify your goals and how you plan on achieving these. So often people are too vague when it comes to their goals, and being vague is like not writing anything down at all. Whatever your goals may be, that is great, but what are you going to do to obtain your goals? We tend to overestimate our abilities to get things done, and we underestimate the time it will take to achieve success. We have all been guilty of biting off more than we could chew because we thought a job or task would be easier than what it was.

This year is zooming by and will be over before we know it, but how are you approaching your days?  Are you being active in finding success or are you passively living your life? A boat that merely drifts will never go anywhere, and we need to live our life with purpose. What is the mission that would give your life meaning and the purpose to succeed more each day?

By: D. A. Slinkard

D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at da.slinkard@gmail.com